Today is an extremely short slate of games, so the pickings are going to be slim. You’ll certainly need to think outside the box when drafting your players, so you can differentiate yourself from the tournament field. With that being said, let’s dive right into it all. As always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
Heaviest Pitcher Favorites
C.J. Wilson vs. Detroit Tigers(-140) – Wilson matches up against the second best hitting team in the league, the Detroit Tigers. He’s been solid this year with a 3.36 ERA and 42 strikeouts in 59 innings pitched. While I can’t say this will be the easiest matchup for Wilson, he is going up against rookie Buck Farmer (not a joke), so he may be able to escape with at least a win.
Corey Kluber vs. Seattle Mariners (-128) – This pick, I can get behind a lot more than Wilson. Kluber matches up against a Seattle team thats only hitting .240 as a team, good for 24th in the league. Kluber has been striking out everybody that moves basically, as he has 83 in 69 innings pitched. In his last three starts, Kluber has ended with 28.6, 38.7, and 56.8 DraftKings points against the Reds, White Sox and Cardinals. While it’s hard to guarantee numbers like these, Kluber can certainly come close.
A.J. Burnett vs. San Diego Padres (-119) -* Burnett has been one of the biggest surprises of 2015, in my opinion. He owns a microscopic 1.37 ERA on the season with 53 strikeouts in 59 innings. He’s averaging about 22 points per start and shows no signs of slowing down. Going up against the Padres who are hitting .248 as a team, Burnett should be able to walk away with yet another quality start.
Top Overall Game Over/Unders
Boston Red Sox at Texas Rangers (Ballpark in Arlington) – 9 Over/Under – Vegas doesn’t seem to like the debut of Eduardo Rodriguez for the Red Sox too much. Rodriguez comes up to make debut with lots of hype surrounding him. He had a 2.98 ERA in the minors this season with an 8.2 K/9. Nick Martinez for the Rangers has been lights out with his 1.96 ERA. Yet, Vegas is projecting the most amount of runs in this one.
New York Yankees at Oakland A’s (Oakland Coliseum) – 8 Over/Under – CC Sabathia takes on Kendall Graveman in this one. Sabathia seemed as if he was getting back on track as of late, until he faced the Rangers last time out. Sabathia only lasted 2 innings giving up six runs and striking out four. Graveman had a nice outing against the Rays his last time out giving up no runs in six innings His sinkerball seems to be back on track, as he only allowed three fly balls during that outing. An Oakland stack may not be a bad idea.
Toughest Left/Right Matchups
Toughest Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
A.J. Burnett vs. San Diego Padres- Burnett seems to be like a fine wine, he get’s better with age. I can’t say I’ve had really old wine before, but that’s the rumor I hear. Against lefties, they’re only hitting .185 against him. Burnett has a league leading 1.37 ERA going into tonight and has only allowed more than one earned run in an outing twice this season. The guy is locked in.
C.J. Wilson vs. Detroit Tigers- Wilson was a big signing for the Angels when they got him back in 2011. Since that time, you don’t really hear much about him, at least in my opinion. So now it’s his big moment, right here in the MLB Cheat Sheet. Lefties are only hitting .194 off of him this season while his K/9 sits at 6.4.
Toughest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
Shelby Miller vs. San Francisco Giants- Miller has been absolutely brilliant in a Braves uniform since coming from the St. Louis Cardinals. He currently has righties hitting him at a .135 clip. Overall, in his last four starts, batters are only hitting .144 against him. His K/9 sits at 7.2, I mean really, it’s hard to find something to complain about here.
Ian Kennedy vs. Pittsburgh Pirates- I was surprised with how well Kennedy is doing against righties, as I feel like he’s getting knocked around with every start he has. Righties have only been able to get him for a .197 average on the season while he owns an 8.2 K/9. Maybe I was wrong.
Best Left/Right Matchups
Easiest Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
James Paxton vs. Cleveland Indians- Paxton has been getting righties out no problem, but when it comes to lefties, that’s a different story. They’re hitting .375 against him on the season.
Chris Heston vs. Atlanta Braves– Heston has been all over the place this season. One spot he’s been consistent, is his troubles against lefties. They’re knocking him around to a .344 average on the year. One stat he does have going for him, is his 2.77 ERA at home.
Easiest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
Kendall Graveman vs. New York Yankees- You can tell today is a short slate, as Graveman is technically the “easiest” against righties, when in reality, they’re only hitting .273 against him. While this isn’t great, if you’ve seen some of my past articles, this is no where near the atrocious stats we’ve seen on here before.
C.J. Wilson vs. Detroit Tigers- Again, don’t read a ton into this. Wilson has righties batting .264 against him this season. But since the slate is so short and the pickings are slim, I’m not going to jump all over someone’s case on this day.
Prince Fielder ($5400) – Fielder has been sustaining his hot streak as the Rangers continue to roll. He’s 15 for his last 32 with five home runs, 15 RBIs, and nine runs scored. His price is jumped dramatically though, to $5400.
Jason Kipnis ($4700) – The man the frustrates me more then anyone, Kipnis is on another hot streak. He’s 12 for his last 29 with a home run, five RBIs, and eight runs scored. Hitting near the top of the order for the Indians has been working out well for him and continues to boost his value. I haven’t been drafting him, but you know when I did, because that will be the night he goes 0-4, and a caught stealing…..somehow.
Nori Aoki ($3700) – Aoki has been quietly on a hot streak as of late, to the delight of….well, not that many, based on how little he’s been owned. However, he is 14 for his last 28 with a home run, three RBIs, and five runs scored.
Best Batter vs. Pitcher Matchups
Neil Walker vs. Ian Kennedy – We certainly aren’t short of batters who crush pitchers tonight. Walker is a great example of this. Lifetime against Kennedy, he’s 8-18 with three home runs and a 1.444 OPS. Four of his eight hits against him have gone for extra bases.
Justin Upton vs. A.J. Burnett – Burnett may be shutting the league down, but he hasn’t done it against Upton. Upton is 6-14 lifetime with two home runs and a 1.467 OPS. With how much the Padres have been struggling, this might one of the only real chances they have to get something going against Burnett. Unless you hate BvP, then they have no shot.
Ian Kinsler vs. C.J. Wilson – Kinsler has been fantastic this season as he looks to continue that against Wilson. Kinsler is 8-21 lifetime with a home run, four extra base hits and a 1.194 OPS.
A slight chance of thunderstroms during the Boston Red Sox and Texas Rangers game. But it doesn’t look to be overly threatening.
One Pitcher To Build Lineups Around
A.J. Burnett ($10,100) – With a short slate of games, I hope you weren’t looking for a huge surprise pick. You won’t be getting one out of me today. Burnett has had eight straight quality starts and has a 53:18 K:BB ratio. Pitching in Petco Park today, all the stars align for a great start from Burnett. Not that you didn’t think that already.
Superstar Worth Paying For…
Adrian Beltre ($4500) – Beltre was having a real rough start to the season, as was everyone on the Rangers. He’s been turning it around lately and I like his matchup today against the debut of Eduardo Rodriguez. While all the eyes will be on Fielder tonight, I think Beltre is still being left off the board and could easily grab you some much needed points on a night like tonight.
Save Big Bucks By Drafting…
Will Venable ($3300) – Venable has been having a great season for the Padres hitting .304 with three home runs and 10 RBIs to go with a .843 OPS. He also has good numbers against Burnett. He’s 8 for 19 against him with two home runs and a 1.189 OPS. He could be a real sneaky play tonight.